'Goobledy-Gook''Goobledy-Gook' by Paula Scher
GOBBLEDY-GOOK, NONSENSE, BALDERDASH.
THAT’S HOW AN ALPHABET LOOKS TO AN ILLITERATE PERSON. IT SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE THAT THE ODD SHAPES AND FORMS THAT COMPRISE THE CHARACTER OF LETTERS HAVE SOUNDS ATTACHED TO THEM AND THAT THOSE STRANGE SOUNDS DEPICTED BY FORMS HAVE MEANING WHEN THEY ARE STRUNG TOGETHER.
I can’t read Cyrillic characters. Neither can any of the designers who work with me. The Cyrillic words on the page simply look like complete gobbledy-gook.
WE TOOK THIS RARE OPPORTUNITY OF ACCIDENTAL ILLITERACY TO EXPLORE A FOREIGN TYPEFACE AND LANGUAGE (SERBIAN) FORMALISTICALLY AND COMPARE AND CONTRAST IT TO THE ONE WE UNDERSTAND (ENGLISH). WHAT FOLLOWS ARE SOME TYPOGRAPHIC EXPLORATIONS IN FORM AND MEANING. –PAULA SCHER
The MakingMaking Of
Produced and Directed by Nada Ray
NADA RAY ASKED DESIGNERS, PAULA SCHER AND HER TEAM, TO PERFORM ON CAMERA THE CONTENT THEY DESIGNED.
BUT, HOW DID IT ALL START? NADA RECALLS: WE WERE SEARCHING FOR AN EXCEPTIONAL DESIGNER TO BE A GUEST ARTIST OF THE EDITION ’07. ONE LUNCH WITH RICHARD WILDE, CHAIR OF NYC SVA GRAPHIC DESIGN DEPARTMENT, ADDED ACCELERATION… “I DO LIKE PUBLIKUM CALENDAR AND ITS COMPLETELY AUTHENTIC CONCEPT. I WOULD BE PLEASED TO ARRANGE A MEETING WITH PAULA SCHER FOR YOU. SHE ALSO TEACHES AT THE SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS.”
NADA’S IMPRESSIONS: I WAS NOT CERTAIN THAT PAULA LIKED WHAT I WAS SHOWING HER. SHE WAS RESERVED IN HER REACTIONS. I WAS SURPRISED AND DELIGHTED WITH PAULA’S COMMENT AT THE END OF OUR MEETING: “WELL, I COULD DO THE NEXT CALENDAR. WHAT IS THE TIME FRAME?”
Goobledy-Gook Project Elements
The twelve calendar designs continually throw one back into question, for Paula Scher has inadvertently created an Alice In Wonderland-like adventure. The interaction of Cyrillic and Roman alphabets ultimately becomes a typographic wonderland on one hand, and a Tower of Babel on the other. –Richard Wilde
“… BY STEPPING BACKWARDS, THE VISTA CHANGES AND NEW POSSIBILITIES PRESENT THEMSELVES. IT IS PAULA WHO BRINGS US TO THIS POINT WHERE CLARITY REIGNS…” EXCERPT FROM INTRODUCTORY TEXT BY RICHARD WILDE, CHAIR OF THE GRAPHIC DESIGN PROGRAM AT THE SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS, NEW YORK. (READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE)
The CyrillicCyrillic Alphabet
As Home Decoration
A NEW LINE OF ALPHABETICALLY INSPIRED FURNITURE FOR YOUR ADDITIONAL LETTERFORM PLEASURE.
MatchMatch The Faces
With the names. Do it in two languages.
PAULA SCHER HAS CREATED A WORLD OF UNEXPECTED SURPRISES AS ONE CAREFULLY NAVIGATES THROUGH EACH CALENDAR PAGE DESIGN, BUT THIS IS SOMETHING MORE PROFOUND THAN IT IS SHOCKING FOR THE SAKE OF AMUSEMENT.
The AccompanyingAccompanying BookBook
THE ACCOMPANYING BOOK PRESENTS THE CREATIVE PROCESS OF THE PUBLIKUM CALENDAR AND THE INTERNAL WORLD OF THE GUEST ARTIST.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade
THE LAUNCH EVENT ATTRACTED MORE THAN 1,500 GUESTS. FOR ONE EVENING, IDEAS FROM “GOBBLEDY-GOOK” WERE BROUGHT TO LIFE VIA INSTALLATIONS AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION.
Mockups of specially designed furniture inspired by the Cyrillic alphabet filled the Museum gallery; A twenty-person chorus performed live a piece whose lyrics were crafted from texts published in the Calendar;
ANIMATIONS MADE FROM CALENDAR IMAGES WERE PROJECTED ON THE MUSEUM WALLS. THE GOBBLEDY-GOOK EXHIBIT AND CHORAL PERFORMANCE WERE AIRED ON SERBIAN NATIONAL TV NETWORK (RTS) AND ON LOCAL MEDIA, SHARING THE EXPERIENCE WITH A WIDE AUDIENCE. PHOTOS: SRDJAN VELJOVIĆ
LAUNCH EVENT VIDEO DIRECTED BY: OLIVERA MILOŠ TODOROVIĆ; CAMERA: MIKI TRAJKOVIĆ
THE ART DIRECTORS CLUB IN NEW YORK HELD A SPECIAL ONE NIGHT “GOBBLEDY-GOOK” EXHIBITION AND ARTIST RECEPTION FOR PAULA SCHER, ATTENDED BY GUESTS, MEDIA, AND PUBLIKUM CALENDAR PRODUCTION TEAM.
The ArtArt DirectorsDirectors Club
The AlphabetAlphabet DelightDelight
INSPIRED BY CYRILLIC CHARACTERS, PAULA SCHER DESIGNED A COLLECTION OF TABLE ACCESSORIES CALLED “ALPHABET DELIGHT.”
THIS UNIQUE COLLECTION WAS EXCLUSIVELY PRODUCED IN LIMITED CIRCULATION OF TWENTY-FIVE SETS AND PRESENTED AS PART OF BELGRADE DESIGN WEEK 2007.
THIS PROJECT, SO ORIGINAL THAT IT CAN ENTER THE ANNUALS OF DESIGN IN SERBIA, IS A TRUE EXAMPLE OF SUCCESSFUL COLLABORATION BETWEEN DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL CREATIVES.
Such design projects that promote national identity in the world are part of the overall strategy of building an authentic image of the nation.
“ALPHABET DELIGHT” IN AN ORIGINAL WAY REPRESENTS ONE OF THE INTERESTING SERBIAN CHARACTERISTICS – THE CYRILLIC ALPHABET – WHICH IS AN INEXHAUSTIBLE SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR TOP CREATIVES, SUCH AS PAULA SCHER.
THE PUBLIKUM PRODUCED PROTOTYPES OF FURNITURE – “LJ” AND “NJ” CHAIRS, “F” LUSTER, DESIGNED BY PAULA SCHER AND INSPIRED BY SERBIAN CYRILLIC. THIS UNIQUE COLLECTION WAS PRESENTED AT THE BELGRADE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, THE GALLERY OF THE SERBIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND THE BELGRADE CULTURAL CENTER.
Rarely are projects in the world, and especially in Serbia, experienced to celebrate their 15th anniversary, and not only have they not lost their mission but developed it from a national one, they have become a truly international phenomenon. A walk from the ruins of Sebastian Gallery (downtown Belgrade) in 1993 to New York in 2008 is a story of vision, dedication, ability and, above all, a desire for communication – a story of people who put their talent into the service of promoting creativity and achieving a result that greatly outweighs the environment in which it was created. –Milena Šešić Dragićević